Lola Montez files from Bruce Seymour
AN INTRODUCTION TO THIS COLLECTION
FROM THE COMPILER
This collection is the result of my research over the years 1991 to 1995 for a biography of Lola Montez, published in 1996 by Yale University Press. That book represents my best distillation of all this material, so anyone wanting an overview of everything in this collection should read Lola Montez. A Life [ISBN 0300074395: amazon and Yale Press]. A draft for that book, more precisely footnoted and including a good deal more material than the published version, is to be found in Volumes 44 and 45 of this collection.
Assuming that the person coming to this collection wants something more than can be found in my book, I will try to provide some tips for finding your way around these many loose-leaf volumes, books, and microfilm. The basic arrangement is chronological. This first volume is an introduction, but most of the subsequent volumes follow in sequence from LM's origins and birth and continue to her death and beyond. Many of the volumes are devoted to a single year of LM's life. This first volume contains a detailed table of contents of all of the volumes in the collection as well as an imperfect index to all volumes.
I warn the researcher that many of the materials in this collection are in German or French, a very few in Polish, and my copies and transcripts of the correspondence of LM and King Ludwig are in the strange Spanish they used to communicate. In some cases my transcript of a document will wander back and forth between the original language and my translation, depending on how easily I happened to be translating that day or how sure I was of my reading of the original. You will need some foreign language skills to make the best use of all this material.
If you are interested in a particular period in LM's life, I think the best way to begin is to look at the complete table of contents in this first volume and determine which individual volumes deal with that period. It would probably also be worthwhile to look at the chronology of LM's life in this volume's Tab E to get an overview of the period you're interested in, although each of the volumes for a particular year of LM's life also has the pertinent part of the entire chronology.
I think the most valuable materials in the collection can be found in the sections I have called "Chronological Documentation" and in the sections of photocopies of contemporary newspaper articles. These sections are usually tabs A and B in the volumes in which they appear. In essence, the "Chronological Documentation" sections contain exactly the same type of material that appears in the photocopies of newspapers or manuscripts, but it is material I was unable to photocopy, so I have transcribed my notes and transcripts and arranged them in chronological order. I suppose it might have been possible to interweave the transcribed materials with the photocopied materials to present a single chronological narrative, but I have not attempted that. The "Chronological Documentation" should be read together with the newspaper photocopies and all other materials in the binder to give the full picture of LM's life at a particular time.
In those volumes devoted to a specific year of LM's life, the "Chronological Documentation" and the photocopies of newspaper articles are followed by photocopies of articles, excerpts from books, and manuscripts. The are all identified in the master table of contents in this volume and in the separate tables of contents in each volume. I have also identified them by writing on the copies themselves, often on the back side, and I have frequently included some brief commentary on the meaning or importance of the item.
For someone looking for a general overview of the manuscripts and published materials available on LM's life, the best place to start would be the annotated bibliography under Tab C of this volume. This bibliography is annotated to indicate items that appear at least in part in this collection.
A researcher looking for information about a person who may have had some role in LM's life should consult the biographical information on persons associated with LM under Tab F of this volume and the index under Tab G, although I warn the reader that the index is neither exhaustive nor complete. From these two sources, you should be able to determine which volumes in the collection you may need to consult for further detail.
If you need to know about other biographical writings about LM, you will want to consult not only the annotated bibliography, but also the critical review of biographies of LM under Tab D of this volume. I make no pretense of being unbiased, and the critical review is dominated by the sound of my ax grinding throughout, but I think it is helpful, nonetheless.
One major failing of my work that has bedeviled me at times is that I was not always precise in indicating in my notes when I was copying a document or article verbatim and when I begin to make my own summary of what it said. I hope the places where this occurs are few and unimportant, but I must warn the reader that sometimes my notes shift from transcript to summary and back again. In some cases I tried to use quotation marks to indicate actual transcription, but I have not been consistent. I can say that most things that appear to be transcriptions really are, but if the researcher has an opportunity to check my transcription with the original, it would not be a bad idea. It is a failing, and I apologize for it.
Indeed, in an undertaking this massive, there are probably more than a few errors. I have done my very best, but I have had no one to check my work, and I am sure errors have crept in. I have tried hard to make this collection as error-free and easily accessible as possible, but I ask for your indulgence when you run across a blunder or find yourself confused by my arrangement of materials.
I have put many thousands of hours into assembling and arranging these materials on Lola Montez, and I hope you find them as much a joy to delve into as they were for me to unearth and sort out. I believe I have written the best work to date on this fascinating woman, but nothing would please me more than for someone to use my work to write a far better biography of her. I hope I'm still around to read it.
Files (Microsoft Word format) - These files were used in the creation of the
biography, Lola Montez : A Life by Bruce Seymour (March 1998) Yale Univ
Press; ISBN: 0300074395
lm-Chronology.doc 329 KB - Chronology of The Life of Lola Montez
lm-Persons.doc 442 KB - Persons Associated with Lola Montez
Newspapers.doc - Newspaper References To Lola
crit.bibliog.doc - Annotated Bibliography On Lola Montez
crit.biograph.doc - A Chronological Review of the Major Biographical Literature on Lola Montez
LMmemoirs.doc - A Note On The Memoirs Of Lola Montez
Chronological Documentation - a documentary chronology of LM's life, giving chronologically and in detail the sources for the biography
All files are Copyright by Bruce Seymour - please do not reproduce without permission
Inventory of the Bruce Seymour collection of Lola Montez materials, [ca. 1990-1996] Collection number: BANC MSS 96/58 cz, at The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley